Author Topic: That Audiophile thing again  (Read 17847 times)

APK

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petekelly

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2015, 01:41:20 AM »
I think generally, audiophilia is associated with hi-fi buffs, but a not dissimilar mind-set can be present with musicians as well.

I know the connection isn't an absolutely direct one when compared to people who will pay thousands of pounds for speaker cables and the like, but in an area I do know something about (guitars), there's an awful lot of 'snake-oil talk' that goes around and around - 'Southern alnico twang', 'creamy NOS mullard valve tone', 'toasty retro op-amp sound' etc :)


Seren

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2015, 09:20:03 AM »
It is difficult to sort out the snake oil from the real effect...

but if none of it meant anything then the sound out of a mobile phone would sound the same as that out of a hi-fi...

After recently adding a stand alone dac to my hi-fi, every single person who has listened to music can hear the difference, I had one person get so excited they were searching my collection for music they wanted to hear themselves rather than what I might think to put on and it's been a long time since anyone was that excited.

I use a lot of toslink connections and again, medical grade glass cables sound better than the plastic ones....


ffcal

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2015, 10:25:52 AM »
I'm not really an audiophile guy myself, but I did notice a huge improvement in sound when I upgraded my stereo amplifier from a basic Technics model to a used Rotel one.  Much quieter, smoother sound, and better overall staging through phones.  When I was a teenager, I used to listen to my parents' Fisher tube amp, which sounded very warm and present, especially on orchestral recordings.

Forrest

petekelly

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2015, 12:05:32 PM »

but if none of it meant anything then the sound out of a mobile phone would sound the same as that out of a hi-fi...


Thats not really the audiophile thing though methinks. On one hand, better quality components, modern design etc have lead to (arguably) overall improved musical fidelity. The audiophile area is more for the person who wants the best possible sound (or what they think that is) and all the advertising, truths and half-truths that are associated with their pursuit of the 'best' - I've known a few true audiophiles and they are never satisfied. 

Analoguekid

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2015, 02:03:21 PM »
Anything related to that audiophile pursuit of the best sound quality money can buy has to ultimately come down to the way the music was recorded in the first place. And that then goes deeper to what the recording studio sound engineer and producer were hearing at the time. No music system can make the music sound better than it did when first recorded, if it wasn't there when it was recorded your not going to hear it on the playback however hard you try :-)

Instruments recorded on their own independent multitrack magnetic tape and then put on a vinyl master disc are the very best format we have reached, post production does its job to put those instruments into their own specific space in the audio spectrum for the best listening on various formats (vinyl, cassette or Radio waves at that time) but the pure sound of the recording has already been lost at this point. As we are in an age where 99% is recorded digitally we are left with personal preference as to how we reproduce that recorded sound and until recording studios go back in time and start producing analogue albums once again, when you play that "Vinyl only" latest release on your thousands of pounds worth of Hi Fi equipment just remember it was a PC file before you got it :-)

Seren

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2015, 02:56:57 PM »
..... I've known a few true audiophiles and they are never satisfied.

Yep - I've met people like that too, I suppose it may be the same as some people into cars - always wanting a better one or collecting a number....

I think that my response to the article depends on whether I read it as saying that you can't improve the sound (having had a hi-fi in the mid seventies I can assure you the sound reproduction available nowadays is much better than what I had then) or that some people will believe any crap they are told about a subject that is important to them - whether that is music, god, alien abduction, politics, terrorism, market forces, beany babies etc etc.

petekelly

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2015, 06:51:46 AM »
Instruments recorded on their own independent multitrack magnetic tape and then put on a vinyl master disc are the very best format we have reached,

I agree with the first point you made, but the above one is debatable.

Depending on the kind of music you like, perhaps the 'best' sound is live sound. For instance, if you like Gregorian chant (as I do) go to hear great singers performing in a beautifully reverberant church space. No recording will match that sonic experience.

Analoguekid

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2015, 08:06:57 AM »
Instruments recorded on their own independent multitrack magnetic tape and then put on a vinyl master disc are the very best format we have reached,

I agree with the first point you made, but the above one is debatable.

Depending on the kind of music you like, perhaps the 'best' sound is live sound. For instance, if you like Gregorian chant (as I do) go to hear great singers performing in a beautifully reverberant church space. No recording will match that sonic experience.


In your opinion what would you consider is the best format to hear recorded sound?

I agree, going to see/hear a live performance is probably the best way to listen to music but that's not a recorded format, its live. :-)

ffcal

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2015, 09:09:23 AM »
I think live performance can actually be less interesting to listen to than a recording for really detailed ambient music, unless the sound system is pretty spectacular, like the one Hearts of Space used for its Ambicon Festival.  I'd rather hear the layers of detail through headphones, rather than take the chance that I've stood in the right place to hear the full intended balance of sounds generated live.

Forrest

LNerell

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2015, 03:08:04 PM »
In your opinion what would you consider is the best format to hear recorded sound?

Nothing analog or on vinyl, those formats reached their peak of what can be gotten out of them decades ago. It would have to be something digital, at this point probably 192k 24 bits, but to me the bits are more import so the more bits the better so even 32 bits would be better. Maybe DSD is where it's at, but I haven't had the chance to listen to anything done in that format since I don't have a SACD player, and its really hard to work with native files right now. We are closer to the beginning of what digital can offer, about where analog was in the 1950s.
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Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2015, 10:08:19 PM »
I understand the guy in the original article's point, and yes Audiophiles are an obsessive bunch, but then so are ambient fans, jazz fans, goth fans...basically anything we claim as "ours".

Thing is, it is OK to be an expert at something. Its ok to know more about jazz than someone else and be an expert. Its ok to know more about and appreciate ambient music than someone else. Its ok to devote your time and money to the best sound playback in the universe and train your ear to hear detail and nuance that others do not, the same can be said for a somallie (pretty sure I spelled that wrong...you know professional wine guys), its ok to be a foodie.

Here is the thing, the balance is A: Don't be a snobby jerk about it, but B: if you are not one of the above, don't get defensive when someone knows more about something than you do, remember a persons opinion is never  more valid than true study and expertise. This second part is a real problem in the world of the internet of instant opinions. Its almost an anti-snobbery, snobbery.  :D

Now on the subject of audiophilia...yes it gets crazy. Many of these guys have playback systems better than the gear used to originally record the music.
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

petekelly

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2015, 02:36:59 AM »
Good points, Paul.

Yes, my example doesn't hold up for recorded ambient perhaps, but I'd still say if an unmatched aural experience is of concern (as opposed to fidelity), it's still applicable.

I have no love for vinyl, I've heard far too many 'quiet musics' ruined by static, in the pre-CD / digital era.
« Last Edit: August 18, 2015, 03:34:35 AM by petekelly »

APK

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #13 on: August 18, 2015, 06:52:12 AM »
Now on the subject of audiophilia...yes it gets crazy. Many of these guys have playback systems better than the gear used to originally record the music.

Yep, so often people with very expensive gear are looking for qualities and subtleties in recordings that are simply not there.
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Scott M2

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #14 on: August 18, 2015, 01:06:05 PM »
Now on the subject of audiophilia...yes it gets crazy. Many of these guys have playback systems better than the gear used to originally record the music.

Yep, so often people with very expensive gear are looking for qualities and subtleties in recordings that are simply not there.

I remember being thrilled to hear the Echoplex tape hiss on "side 2" of Phaedra when I first heard it on CD.  :)

Seren

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #15 on: August 18, 2015, 01:18:47 PM »

I remember being thrilled to hear the Echoplex tape hiss on "side 2" of Phaedra when I first heard it on CD.  :)

I had a similar experience when I could hear cello players breathing as they played on CDs - often the timing fits the playing in some way or other. for me it added to the music rather than distracted  - though if they were snuffling with a cold and sneezing that would not be nice.
 

Scott M2

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2015, 12:40:27 PM »

I remember being thrilled to hear the Echoplex tape hiss on "side 2" of Phaedra when I first heard it on CD.  :)

I had a similar experience when I could hear cello players breathing as they played on CDs - often the timing fits the playing in some way or other. for me it added to the music rather than distracted  - though if they were snuffling with a cold and sneezing that would not be nice.
 

That's the sonic layer they leave out in sample libraries.  ;D

LNerell

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Re: That Audiophile thing again
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2015, 11:36:10 AM »

That's the sonic layer they leave out in sample libraries.  ;D

That reminds me, years ago a friend of mine bought a used Yamaha sampler. We were going through the  sample library that came with the instrument and one of the discs in the box was labeled "porno." It was as you would expect various sounds, mostly of some woman moaning and groaning, but the very last sample at the end of the keyboard was her saying "is that it?!?"   ;D
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